10 must-read articles for 12 March (Wired UK)


Your WIRED.co.uk daily briefing. Today, hot
spring in deep space, Twitter bans revenge porn, Alibaba makes big
Snapchat investment and more.

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1. Free streaming is ‘killing the music
industry’

“I think what you do is you take casual consumers of music and
you turn them from purchasers into noshers, into browsers, into
snackers. They don’t have to engage in the subscription model. The
reality of some of the bigger streaming services is that 75% of
their user base are free, which has a horrific impact on the music
industry and its ability to invest in talent going forward,”
said Ministry of Sound boss Lohan Presencer (The Guardian).

2. Saturnian moon may have hot springs

The frozen surface of Enceladus may by hiding a warm ocean
heated by hydrothermal plumes (Popular Science). Data gathered by Nasa’s Cassini probe in 2004
and analysed by scientists at the University of Colorado shows sand
particles in Saturn’s rings, most likely pumped out by Enceladus.
It is thought the sand was dissolved in water at temperatures of
90C in similar conditions to those found at the bottom of the
Atlantic Ocean.

3. Lyft raises $530m

Japanese e-commerce firm Raktuen led the $530m (£354m)
funding round, in a deal that closes this week (The Wall Street Journal). The financing values Lyft at around
$2.5bn (£1.67bn). It still has some way to go to catch up to rival
Uber, which is valued at more than $41bn (£27.4bn).

4. Fake Apple Watches appear online

Smartwatches that copy the look of the Apple Watch have gone on
sale in China (BBC News).
Alibaba’s Taaobao site lists devices branded SW08 and iWatch, both
of which feature the ‘digital crown’ dials, similar straps and a
copy-cat interface. Rather than running Apple’s Watch OS they run
Android. They’re also much cheaper, coming in at 250
yuan (£26.50).

5. Twitter bans revenge porn

The social network has updated its rules to specifically
prohibit revenge porn (Washington Post). In its terms Twitter says users “may not post
intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without
the subject’s consent”. Twitter CEO Dick Costello has previously
admitted the site “suck[s] at dealing with abuse and
trolls”. 

6. Nasa developing high-tech glasses for
space

The space agency is working with San Francisco firm Osterhout
Design Group to develop augmented reality glasses (Bloomberg). The technology will allow Nasa to upload how-to
guides to the glasses, giving astronauts instructions for making
repairs or carrying out experiments. Tests will be carried out in
an undersea lab before being submitted for use in
space. 

7. Guardian clarifies Whispr allegations

The Guardian has amended a series of controversial articles
published about the anonymous messaging app late last year (The Wall Street Journal). At the time the newspaper claimed
Whispr violated users’ privacy, but it has now retracted much of an
article headlined ‘Whisper app rewrites terms of service and
privacy policy’. A commentary piece criticising Whispr has also
been removed.

8. Alibaba will make big investment in
Snapchat

Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba plans to invest $200m (£134m) in
Snapchat, valuing the app company at $15bn (£10bn) (TechCrunch).
The messaging app has also been linked with an investment from
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal after CEO Evan Spiegel met the
Saudi Arabian to discuss “potential business cooperation”.

9. Google opens first branded shop in
London 

The Google Shop at Currys PC World on Tottenham Court Road will
sell Android devices, Chromebooks and Chromecast dongles (The Next Web). Google will also host demos and events, covering
topics such as online security and coding. Two more Google stores
will open later this year at Currys PC World stores in Fulham and
Thurrock.

10. Nasa test-fires biggest ever rocket

A dramatic two minute test-fire of the giant Space Launch System
rocket has been completed in the Utah desert (YouTube).
The rocket packs 3.6 million pounds of thrust and could
one day power manned missions to Mars and
beyond.
 

Popular on WIRED.co.uk

UKIP and the Greens are superior tweeters

Many politicians stand aloof on Twitter. New research
by Demos shows that
whilst MPs send thousands of tweets to catch the attention of the
electorate, many — especially the most senior — are not genuinely
interested in engaging with voters online. A new digital divide is
opening between politicians using social media only to speak, and
those also using it to engage, that could affect the outcome in
May. 

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12 March 2015 | 7:39 am – Source: wired.co.uk

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